The Jets will travel down to New Orleans this weekend for their second road game in as many weeks. The Saints, who are tied for the NFC South lead with a 9-4 record, are coming off an extended rest after they dropped a 20-17 contest to Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 7.
Led by 38-year-old quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints' top-ranked offense averages 400.7 yards per game. While the Saints have been predominantly known for their aerial attack, their running game ranks fourth in the NFL while producing 135.5 Yds/G.
Mark Ingram has rushed for 971 yards and nine touchdowns while rookie Alvin Kamara has gained 608 yards on the ground and added seven scores. Ingram and Kamara average 5.1 and 7.0 yards per carry, respectively, and what makes them extremely dangerous is their versatility. They've combined for 108 receptions and rank No. 6 and 7 in the NFL in scrimmage yards. However, Kamara's status for Sunday is uncertain after he suffered a concussion last week.
"Their combined success have made them more unpredictable than I've seen in the past even though you might say it's easy to predict they're going to run the football," NOLA.com's Larry Holder said on The Official Jets Podcast Game Preview. "Stopping it is a different story. Then you look at how both of those backs can be diverse. They can catch the ball out of the backfield. This is a different Saints offense than what we've seen in the past."
Through the air, second-year wideout Michael Thomas is Brees' primary target. Thomas paces the team with 85 receptions and 992 yards, which ranks No. 6 in the NFL.
Rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore and rookie safety Marcus Williams, the Saints' first- and second-round picks, have sparked the defense. New Orleans ranks No. 10 against the pass in 2017 after allowing a league-worst 273.8 yards per game last year. Lattimore, an Ohio State product, has racked up three interceptions and 10 pass defenses while Williams has totaled two picks and five PDs.
"You could easily argue he's the defensive rookie of the year," Holder said of Lattimore. "He had an interception last week and when he's on the field, he takes away half the field. I don't know in the history of the Saints franchise that they've had anyone have someone like that.
"Marcus Williams, a guy they took in the second round, he's been a starter since Day 1 at free safety," he added. "He's brought a little bit more of a dynamic ability back there."
Jets Offensive Matchup to Watch: Jets OL vs. Cameron Jordan
Cameron Jordan is the Saints' premiere pass rusher as he leads the team with 10 sacks, which is tied for eighth in the NFL, and 20 quarterback hits. The seventh-year vet has also totaled 54 tackles and a team-high 14 tackles for loss. Jordan has a knack for getting his hands on the pigskin as he's batted down seven passes and forced two fumbles.
Jets Defensive Matchup to Watch: Jets LBs vs. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara
The Saints predicate their offense on Ingram and Kamara not only on the ground, but through the air as well. The 'backs rank second (Kamara) and third (Ingram) on the team in receptions with 62 and 46, respectively. Jets' inside linebackers Demario Davis (138) and Darron Lee (95) have combined for 233 tackles and figure to have a busy day at the Superdome.